Geithner: Tax Increases Are Better Than Spending Cuts

February 14, 2012 - 3:06 PM

( - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discussed his support for the tax increases proposed by President Barack Obama, saying they were "fair" and would be preferable to spending cuts.

Geithner told Congress Tuesday the president's new $3.8 trillion spending plan is "fair" and would impose new taxes on only the top 2 percent of the nation's income earners.

GOP senators questioned how "fair" the budget proposal is.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) asked Giethner, “Do you think it’s fair that, now -- this was Wall Street Journal’s figure in an editorial this morning which you probably saw – that the top 3% pay as much as the other 97% of taxpayers in income tax?”

“I do, because again, life is about choice and alternatives and if they’re not going to pay it then you have to find the resources elsewhere, in asking middle class families to pay more or cutting the benefits to middle class retirees,” Geithner replied.

“Is it fair that the bottom almost 50% pay no federal income tax?”

“As you know senator, because we talk about this a lot, I don’t think that’s a fair description of our current tax system," Geithner said.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) pushed for getting rid of duplicative federal programs and reducing Medicare fraud instead of increasing taxes.

“It’s not right to assume that we couldn’t run the federal government more efficiently and that the only option is to raise revenue,” he said.